The right to own and carry guns, firearms and weapons (keep and bear arms) is clearly guaranteed by the United States Constitution. However, there are laws that regulate when and how we can use those firearms. California law covering weapons is complex and one can easily be confused on what is legal and what is not.
Even if you made a mistake and used a weapon in a way you know was unlawful you still deserve to be represented by an experienced attorney who has experience with cases just like yours.
We want to hear about your case and help you get the results you want when it’s time for your day in court. Perhaps the weapon was not loaded or maybe you were using it to defend yourself. There are multiple defenses that are possible when facing weapons charges.
When the system seems out to get you, a trusted and experienced attorney can make all the difference. We will be your advocate in a system that can be overwhelming when you are facing serious charges such as these. Call to discuss the details of your case today.
Most weapons charges carry the possibility of jail time. They also carry the potential for large fines and a felony charge on your permanent record.
What are the Most Common Gun Charges in California?
Possession of a firearm without a permit is the most common California gun/firearms offense. It is a misdemeanor criminal charge. All misdemeanors carry a potential sentence of up to one year in jail.
What is a Deadly Weapon?
California law defines a deadly weapon as anything that has the potential to cause death if used in a violent manner. This means that your fist and even your car could be considered a deadly weapon, depending on how it is used.
Brandishing a Deadly Weapon – Laws & Penalties
If you draw or show a deadly weapon (other than a firearm) in an angry or rude manner, or during a fight, you may be charged with this misdemeanor. Brandishing a deadly weapon, other than a firearm carries a sentence of at least 30 days in jail and up to one year in jail.
Ref: CA Brandishing a Deadly Weapon laws (California Penal Code Section 417)
Brandishing a Firearm – Laws & Penalties
If you draw or show a firearm, loaded or unloaded, in an angry or threatening manner or during a fight, you may be charged with this offense that is typically classified as a misdemeanor.
If the offense took place on public property and the firearm is a pistol or some other firearm easily concealed, you will serve a minimum of 3 months in jail and up to one year. However, if not committed in a public place, you face 30 days to one year in jail.
Ref: CA Brandishing a Firearm California Laws – Penal Code Section 417
Additional California Gun Charges – Laws and Penalties
If you brandish a firearm in a threatening manner while in a vehicle, you could be facing felony charges and a potential sentence of 16 months to 3 years in prison.
Most other weapons offenses in the state of California are felonies. In particular, if you are found to be in the ommission of another crime and are also in possession of a firearm, your sentence will be exacerbated.
Your sentence in these felony weapons charges depends on several things including:
- What the weapon was
- How it was used
- Your criminal history
- If the weapon was concealed
A judge will take all of the specifics of your case into consideration when determining a sentence.
For example, felony assault with a deadly weapon carries a potential sentence of 2-4 years in prison. If that firearm is semi-automatic the sentence is increased to 3-6 years in prison. Where within the sentencing range the judge decides to sentence you depends on the circumstances of your offense and any criminal history.
Don’t Bring a Weapon to Court
You’d think we wouldn’t have to mention this.
In a somewhat humorous though startling report from the L.A. Times a few years back, it was revealed that personnel at the L.A. County court buildings confiscated “53,302 knives, 24,783 scissors, 21,014 razors, 8,208 pairs of handcuffs and 114 stun guns” as well as a few firearms, brass knuckles, daggers, and a “sword disguised as a cane” in 2008.
The security screeners in the court buildings are responsible for searching incoming people and their belongings, including bags, purses, and briefcases. Usually the firearms are found on attorneys who forget they are carrying them. But you have to wonder who had the sword?
All kidding aside, there have been numerous stories of courthouse violence over the past few years and I applaud security for keeping the L.A. courthouses safe. Although I am not quite sure how you “forget” you are carrying brass knuckles or a firearm I imagine it does happen and we are thankful the thorough searches are turning up these items.
So, what happens to your knife after it’s confiscated at the courthouse? It’s loaded up with others like it and destroyed. Very rarely will you face criminal charges unless, of course, the weapon is illegal.
Free Consultation on Any Criminal Weapons / Gun Charge in California
When facing charges as serious as these you want to be sure you have as strong a defense as possible. You need a criminal defense attorney to trust with your future and your reputation, an attorney who is experienced and professional, and knows what it takes to fight and beat criminal weapons charges in California courts.
Our attorneys know that the system is often not fair. And we understand that mistakes happen and sometimes all it takes is the right person to listen to your side of things. We will give you a voice in the criminal court system and make sure your rights are protected at every stage.
Contact or call us now for your free consulation.